It’s a familiar pattern. There’s enough self awareness here to know what’s coming and to brace for impact. This…THING is like a see-saw, currently balancing at perfect center, but with the knowledge that one stray breeze, a moment of distraction, or someone throwing a stray word your way will inevitably tip it to one side or the other. This is the waiting to see which way it goes
When I was a child, I loved see-saws; the up feeling as close to heaven as a child could reach. As a teen, I embraced the ups and learned to drink through the downs. Now I understand the how, even if not the why, and do whatever I can to keep from mentally and emotionally crashing down. But sometimes it happens. It is happening.
This is bipolar disorder.
Yesterday was SO big and SO beautiful and SO full of TONS of things to do and places I wanted to GO and things I HAD to see and there weren’t enough hours in the DAY and who needed to eat because it was just a waste of time YOU could be DOING stuff and everywhere I looked there was MORE to see than my eyes could take in but I’ll come back to it later because look over THERE!
Today I’m standing on a deserted playground, storm clouds darkening the sky above me. It’s calm, but a false calm, for I can feel the thunder gathering in my chest and the pit of my stomach. It has a tangible weight and force, all of it trying to rip its way out only so it can turn around and swallow me whole.
I have my special playlist for just this occasion, all songs my brain has learned to focus in on the words and the combination of notes in an attempt to avoid focussing on the current chemical chaos wreaking its trademark havok. It’s like a soup that someone added acid instead of the main ingredient so it ends up slowly destroying your stomach instead of pleasantly filling it.
And it is chemical; a chemical imbalance. It’s neither my fault nor anyone elses that I exist between A-MA-ZINGLY sunny days and the darkest of stormy nights. I simply live a life of brain chemistry enhanced extremes.
I know, I HAVE to KNOW, that the sun will return soon enough and the rain will pass. I know what this THING is and I know that it lies from the inside of my mind out. Today,as the storm breaks and the see-saw tips, I’ll turn to the support of my friends and family, let myself get lost in the music playing on my mp3 player and wait for the rain to pass.
I have a request to make of you; if you’d like to talk about mental illness, I’d rather do it on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, out in the open instead of quietly secluded on here. Stigma sucks and sucks hard and I’m tired of looking the other way while it does it.
Mental illness is not a case of mind over matter, trying harder, or simply choosing to be happy, it’s a real thing. If you or someone you know is in need of help, Healthy Place has an excellent list on their Mental Health Hotline Numbers and Referral Resource page.
If you need help or think that you may have a mental illness, please reach out to someone. And remember, it’s NOT your fault and you are NOT alone!